Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are valued by many investors for several reasons, including their rarity and their use in a broad range of industrial applications. Precious metals exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which number 21, are a popular way to invest in these metals. ETFs can offer a less risky and easier approach to investing in these metals than buying futures contracts, purchasing stock in publicly traded companies involved in the exploration or production of these metals, or purchasing bullion.

The best precious metals ETF for Q1 2020 by 1-year trailing performance is the Aberdeen Standard Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL). Below, we'll look at the top 3 precious metals ETFs as of February 17, 2020.

Aberdeen Standard Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL)

  • Performance over 1 year: 70.8%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 51,478
  • Assets Under Management: $393.2 million
  • Inception Date: January 6, 2010
  • Issuing Company: Aberdeen Standard Investments

The Aberdeen Standard Physical Palladium Shares ETF (PALL) is a grantor trust aimed at replicating the spot price of palladium bullion, less fund expenses. PALL holds physical palladium in vaults in Europe. As a grantor trust, PALL follows a strict set of guidelines regarding the ownership and sale of palladium designed to protect investors in the fund.

Aberdeen Standard Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares ETF (GLTR)

  • Performance over 1 year: 24.8%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 29,698
  • Assets Under Management: $537.9 million
  • Inception Date: October 21, 2010
  • Issuing Company: Aberdeen Standard Investments

GLTR is also a grantor trust fund issued by Aberdeen Standard Investments. Unlike PALL above, GLTR holds physical stores of a combination of precious metals. Currently, the largest holding is gold bullion, followed by silver and palladium. A relatively small store of platinum rounds out GLTR's holdings.

Aberdeen Standard Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT)

  • Performance over 1 year: 21.8%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 97,638
  • Assets Under Management: $727.2 million
  • Inception Date: January 6, 2010
  • Issuing Company: Aberdeen Standard Investments

Like both PALL and GLTR, PPLT is a grantor trust. In this case, the fund's goal is to follow the spot price of platinum, less costs associated with managing the fund. PPLT owns physical platinum kept in vaults around the world.